Jose Mourinho has described the bizarre sequence of events that saw him announced as the new Roma manager just days after being sacked by Tottenham, before appearing to take a swipe at some of his former clubs.
After being sacked by Spurs in April, the Portuguese tactician was out of work for just 15 days before Serie A giants Roma announced he would be taking over from Paulo Fonseca at the end of the season.
Mourinho has now described how the job offer came about so soon after leaving his role in north London and claims the passion of the fans and the club’s new owners attracted him to the post.
“They [the owners] really wanted me,” he told GQ Portugal (via Football Italia). “It was almost instantly, me leaving Tottenham in the morning and Roma calling me in the afternoon. They wanted me a lot and were objective.
“Something I had already felt throughout my years in Italy was the Italian passion when it comes to football, specifically around Roma, a club that has won no trophies in 20 years.
“These are new owners, who have a very humble approach in a way that they recognised this was a new chapter in their amazing professional lives, a chapter in which they needed help from someone with a broad experience.
“They were very honest and straightforward, and I immediately felt this passion I have for my work. So I didn’t have to think too much about it, because they really touched me with their approach. I really liked it.”
Mourinho is no stranger to taking on new roles having enjoyed ten different spells at the helm of various clubs in his 21-year managerial career.
The three-time Premier League winning boss was asked whether the promises made to him by clubs during negotiations impact his decision on where to move next, and he made a not so subtle dig which could well have been aimed at his former employers Spurs and even Manchester United.
“I make mistakes sometimes, I haven’t always chosen the right project, or I may have been misled about the path of some projects,” he added. “I’ve made mistakes or I’ve been led in a dishonest way into accepting what I shouldn’t have, but in the end it’s all the same.
“I still can’t believe that I have 30 years of experience in professional football, or that I am 58 years old, because I am always renewing my motivation.
“Lately I’ve been having very different projects to before. I went to Manchester United in a phase of transition, not to say decay. I went to Tottenham who don’t have a history of success. Now I go to Roma with new owners, but I immediately felt this empathy with the owners, the director and they straight away reignited the fire and passion I have for my job.
“So here I go on another mission impossible. I say impossible because people tend to look at me and in their eyes there’s only one way to measure success, which is that I have to win. I always say that if I were to come to Portugal to coach Belenenses or Gil Vicente, if I didn’t win, then I wouldn’t call it a success.”